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Edmonds Wins Men's 5K, Smith Second in Shot

January 22, 2011  Lynchburg, Va.  RSS
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Josh Edmonds won the men's 5K title, Saturday at the Hokie Invitational.

Josh Edmonds won the men's 5K title, Saturday at the Hokie Invitational.

Redshirt senior Josh Edmonds won the men's 5K, while redshirt sophomore Ryan Smith was the men's shot put runner-up, Saturday at the Hokie Invitational. Their performances highlighted Liberty's day inside Rector Field House.

Men's Meet Recap
Edmonds clocked a season-best 14:25.89 to win the 5K by eight seconds and improve upon his runner-up finish in the 2010 Hokie Invitational 5K final. He has now won both of his 5K races this season, including the Liberty Kickoff title on Dec. 3.

Smith is also unbeaten against collegiate competition in the men's shot put this season. His top throw of 56-6 trailed only post-collegiate athlete Mitchell Pope on Saturday, placing him second overall.

A pair of Flames, Aaron Johnson and Kevin Reddington, notched IC4A qualifiers in the long jump. Johnson's indoor personal-best leap of 23-2.75 took seventh place. Meanwhile, Reddington stretched the tape to 23-1.25 for ninth place.

Liberty nearly had an IC4A qualifier in the 1,000-meter run as well, but freshman Jarred Cornfield missed the standard by just 12 hundredths of a second. His time of 2:30.07 captured eighth place in the race and ranks him No. 6 in program history.

Competing unattached, four-time Big South pole vault champion Kolby Shepherd provided one of the day's biggest highlights. He won the pole vault competition with a personal-best 17-7.25 clearance, defeating a talented group of Virginia Tech vaulters.

Shepherd's effort is superior to both the Liberty indoor (17-5) and outdoor (17-6.5) school records in the pole vault, but it will not officially be recognized as a school record because he is redshirting this season. The clearance would also rank Shepherd No. 3 nationally at this juncture of the season, if he were eligible.

Women's Meet Recap
Sophomore Meghan Burggraf completed a strong showing at the Hokie Invitational with an indoor personal-best time in the 800. Her 2:16.28 netted eighth place in the event.

Freshman Kristen Willeford was one of only 11 women's high jumpers to clear the challenging opening height of 5-4.5. That's where Willeford stopped, but she tied for 10th in the competition and is now tied for eighth in program history for the women's high jump.

Liberty will return to Lynchburg for its second of three home meets on the 2010-11 schedule, the Liberty Open. The two-day invitational will get started Friday at 2 p.m. at the Tolsma Indoor Track Center, with the beginning of the pentathlon competition.